Wednesday, January 22, 2014

There's a Stranger in my House

The other night I sat down, opened a new blog entry page, and wrote this list in an attempt to brainstorm a new post:
Getting a new cat
Picking my nose
Public urination
Helping an assault victim 

So now, I will somehow string these things together in order to make a coherent and poignant observation about life. Because it's not like I had any other plans tonight.

Or maybe I'll just talk about some random stuff until I feel satisfied and call it a day so I can eat more 3 month old graham crackers from my nightstand drawer.

Oh who am I kidding. I already ate them all while writing this.

Totally not guilty. 
About 4 months ago, our lovable mitten-pawed cat went missing. We've waited a proper mourning period and a week ago my Father told me it was time we go get a new one. He told me if I wanted to come help pick one out, I should be free Saturday afternoon. I had no real plans that day, so I had every intention to come along. Picking out a cat is like picking out a new family member, and somehow I have always missed almost every trek to pick up a new feline with my family in my entire life. Plus, I wanted to go be surrounded by cat fuzzy little beings of love.

We miss him quite a lot. 
…But instead, I got drunk at this party the night before and woke up with a massive hangover and missed the whole thing.

It was one hell of a hangover, although I fortunately did not get sick-sick. I was fine as long as I didn't move, which is why it took me so long to get up off the potato chip encrusted couch I passed out on and missed cat picking. Turns out the call of a greasy breakfast burrito was the only true lure. As soon as I got into a moving vehicle, however, I regretted my decision to ever be a human being.

"Remember when we were young?" I said to my friend in the backseat while I tried to close my eyes and pretend I wasn't moving, "And we could drink all we wanted and pop up in the morning like fresh daisies? What happened to that?" It was only three or four years ago, after all.

Neither of us could solve the mystery.

My ability to binge drink is only going to get worse with age. I guess the moral of that story is that I should probably stop doing that sooner rather than later, and you know, become a responsible adult. Because that morning instead of working, or training, or picking out an adorable cat like I said I was going to, I got stupid drunk and couldn't move my legs and hated myself for it. Just like two weeks earlier and two weeks before that. As I watched my friend's uber-athletic roommate eat cereal in between an early morning of intense climbing and going for a long bike ride in serious bike riding spandex, I knew that if I'm going to be a legit athlete like him, something has got to give.

According to my friend we had fun though, which is also an important experience in life or something. I'm not sure if fun is what I would call it, but I guess considering the fact that I went to giant house party where I knew no one, which is usually awful for me, it wasn't bad. It was one of those nights were I have instagram memories, meaning I have a couple of still frames and maybe a few 14 second clips in my head of what happened. I remember standing on an armchair with a girl named Sasquatch in a room that was all blue. I remember way more Svedka than I ever want to remember again. I remember peeing on a tree on the CU campus by the Koelbel building, which I like to think was my way of sticking it to Mad Greens, but truthfully I just really needed to pee, didn't want to wait, and get a weird kick out of public urination when I'm drunk.

Unable to move all Saturday for this? Worth it? I think so. 
Anyway, the night took a dramatic turn when I was suddenly standing in a foreign apartment with a girl who was crying hysterically. I mean hysterically. I had no idea how I or she had come to be there, as the last thing I remembered was tree-peeing. I was confused as to why we brought such an upset person back from the party. It was a huge buzz kill. But slowly I came to the realization, through her sobbing explanations and the conversation between the four guys with me, that this girl has evidently been sexually assaulted right outside on the street by a random man who jumped into a Jetta and drove away as soon as other people showed up. Lucky for her the people I was staying with were not quite as hazy and useless as I was, and actually ran outside when they heard her screaming for help. Unlike me. Who heard absolutely nothing in the first place. It's good to know I was with decent and responsible human beings that night.

As I finally got a grasp on the situation, I took her in my arms, stroked her hair, and tried to help everyone else calm her down by the time the police arrived. They questioned all of us and finally took her home. I felt deeply for that girl and wished I could have gotten her name so I could check in on her later, but as it was, it was just something that passed in the night and will forever remain that way.

So of course, in the somber and heavy atmosphere, we drunkenly broke out the N64 and potato chips and I did a mediocre to decent job of proving myself a worthy Super Smash Brothers player. You know, for a girl. I fell asleep cradling a piece of pizza in my hand.

I woke up feeling floaty, which is never a good sign and, as stated, it only got worse. Soon a few other of my party-goers emerged and sat on the couch with me and commiserated in our hangovers. For a few brief minutes, it was as if I had friends who were actually my age, peers who could bask in the glory of being idiotic and 21 with me. It was kind of nice. Until I stood up, of course.

Despite having gotten up at 10 AM, I got home by 2 in the afternoon. I took a long hot shower where I sat on the concrete floor and let the water make my skin all dry and gross, and then I came out of the bathroom to find a stranger meowing at my door. I opened it up and an unfamiliar orange and white cat came barging in to sniff absolutely everything in my room. I watched him make his way around, feeling very odd about the whole thing. It is not like when you get a kitten, whose personality you can shape and mold through various forms of cat torture. This cat already had a personality, and I was completely unfamiliar with it. He purred weird. He looked at me weird. He was nine years old. Who knows what kind of emotional baggage he comes with? Oh god, will he pee on things?


It felt like a very awkward first date.

If you had to worry about your date peeing on things. Which you might.

I've had lots of new cats come in to my life, but I'd never felt this strange about it before. I think it speaks for the level of discomfort I currently have with my life as a whole currently. Absolutely nothing feels right or natural. For example, I've been thinking a lot of deep thoughts about my boogers lately, because I swear I've had increased booger production and feel the need to pick my nose constantly. The same goes for earwax, actually, but that is unrelated. Boogers serve a better metaphor for my life. One might say that they have completely thrown of the balance of my existence.

Whenever people aren't looking at me, this is pretty much what I fixate on. 
I think what it comes down to is love. Maybe that is a cop out way of connecting all this random shit together, and maybe that sounds stupid or whatever, but hey, it is kind of true. Besides, I am on a roll with sounding stupid these days anyway.

We all just want to be loved. That is the endgame. Even if it means we want to be loved in a really fucked up way. I've been thinking about this in regards to my romantic life a lot lately, but seeing this cat, hanging out with normal college students/friends, and helping a screaming girl, they all amount to the same thing, which is giving and receiving love and how necessary that is in our daily lives.

This weekend has been a weird stepping stone in my life in regards to that and I am happy to say I've learned how to give and receive love at the very least to the weird stranger cat. Turns out all I had to do was give him some chicken and then he found underneath my bed, which every cat ever absolutely loves for some reason, and I swear he hasn't stopped purring and following me around for the past 24 hours in appreciation and what I like to think is adoration.

Under bed. Cat likes box. Happy cat.
I just got rejected to a pole competition for the first time ever on Sunday and the weight of every major failure from the past couple years has been raging down on me, from getting rejected to Calarts twice in row, being passed over for my dream internship with Blizzard Entertainment, to dropping out of art school. Somehow this cat makes it slightly more bearable. Even if it is just because I was kind of embarrassed to cry in front of him so I decided not to cry at all.

I mean. We're not that close yet.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Depression 101

Hey guys, remember when Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half wrote about depression and it made her like ten times more famous and everyone was like "Aw, we love you! Heart heart heart! You are such an inspiration!" and she became a social media goddess for explaining mental illness?


I'm not getting my hopes up here.

But it's on you, really. I'm just going to write.

I may have mentioned or possibly implied through very obvious references in the past that sometimes I can be a little…depressed. Or a lot depressed. Whatever. It's not a phrase I like to use a lot because I don't have a certificate of depression to hang on my wall to prove that I am accredited in depression. I'd like to avoid being sued for misusing the term because I'm broke about 90% of the time and can't afford a lawyer, although I'm pretty certain I've been depressed since I was about 6 years old and have the jars of tears somewhere to prove it. I also avoid the term because it is not a very fun or funny thing to talk about and I'd prefer to box it up inside and pretend that it isn't one of the major factors of my current identity.

Unfortunately last night my face started leaking and I thought some rest might help, but I woke up this morning and my face was still leaking and has been leaking ever since because my body decided to remind me of that fun little fact. As if I had forgotten somehow that the world is empty of everything but pain and loneliness.

My boss/coworker/friend/blog-buddy chastised me yesterday for not blogging in over a week (9 days, which is hardly over a week, but who is counting?) Part of it is because I've spent five of the past nine nights with my boyfriend-but-not, which is what I am officially calling him, because I've never heard him refer to me as his girlfriend and I'm afraid to use the B-word but it's getting to the point where I can't avoid it but I also don't want to bring up a conversation about it because I'm afraid it will end in a way I don't like which is never a good sign that things are going well and that just sucks. AND THE OTHER PART OF IT IS because, well, I don't know. I'm just sad, I guess.

She is right, though. I need to write. I'm overdue. I thought that I could write about that first relationship thing I just mentioned, which I almost did, but today's events have made me decide to write about that second sadness thing I just mentioned in the hopes that maybe it will help me feel a little bit better. Maybe I can get myself in to work tomorrow if I do.

So here it is. Nothing special, just a little taste of what depression can sometimes be like.

Depression 101
Walking the Fine Line 

I know most people in this world have probably experienced depression at some point or another, so I try not to think of myself as special. I prefer to think of myself as a good for nothing whiny, ungrateful little bitch instead. The point being that it definitely goes through phases. Sometimes, things can actually be slightly ok. It's not that life gets better, you just tend to get distracted enough to forget how much it sucks, or maybe have "real" problems to complain about for a little while. But when it comes to chronic depression, you get to the point where you really think you are finally out…and then you just get pulled right back in again. 

One minute you are fine, and then next thing you know you are suddenly sobbing over the word "bagel." In part it is because you want a bagel and don't have one, but mostly it's just the word. Bagel. Bam. Face crumpling like a man's legs who just got hit in the crotch on Americas Funniest Home Videos. Tears everywhere. And it's not just because you hate Bob Saget. 


I haven't felt this shitty since September. And it's all thanks to the word "bagel."

It doesn't make any sense. That is the most important part. 

Unleash the Beast!

Once the big, black block of unwavering misery hits you, somehow it is just impossible to get it to go away. Take right now, for example. I have been waterworks for almost 24 hours straight. I could fix the Northeast's drinking water problem at the drop of a hat with how much liquid I'm producing. I can't get it to turn off. I keep thinking I am all out, but somehow it just keeps coming. For no reason at all. It's just there. I could be their hero. I hope North-easterners like salt water.

A pool of tears in a sea of tears isn't too melodramatic of a metaphor is it? 

Vicious Circles 

Once it's out and running around like a hyperactive school-child, as I said, it won't go away. And that just makes it get worse and that fact makes it get even more worse and so on. People like to call it a vicious circle, I think. However there is more than one circle going on. There is the big, overall circle of being depressed, but there is also the circle of eating shitty food, the circle of crying, and of course my favorite, the circle of being self conscious about being depressed.

I don't like to talk to people about my feelings because not only does it make me believe I will be perceived as weak, but because people just don't like to hear other people whine and bitch about seemingly nothing so much. You bite yourself in the butt. It is like how I keep talking about how I don't feel as if I have any friends in my life right now. Talking about it won't help me get friends. It's as if a salesperson can't stop talking about how they never sell their product. That sort of behavior certainly doesn't make people want to buy it.

That's why I stopped writing deep and emotional poetry and started trying to write more humorous work. Supposedly, anyway. I don't know if this blog is ever humorous anymore. The point being though, I wanted people to listen to me. Because I do the same thing. When people complain to me too much, I tune out. It's not really the listeners fault. It's difficult to connect to intangible pain.

The problem is isolating yourself when help from others is what you need. The truth is, I absolutely crave to talk about how I feel. I want to admit all my sadness to someone and I want them to stroke my hair and tell me it's going to be ok. Because of my insecurity though, I fail to ask even a shred of this from people, and it only gets worse, which only makes me feel more self conscious, and so it goes.

When You Aren't Really Suicidal

Eventually depression puts you in this place where you aren't really suicidal. If you are lucky, anyway. It's not like you want to kill yourself, per say, even if the thought has crossed your mind. That shit is way too messy and complicated. You'd have to write a note and bleh. A lot of work. Mostly you come to a place where you just wish you didn't exist. I have memories as a child of not wanting to be anywhere at all, not even my favorite places, but just wanting to not…be.

When it doesn't go away after 15 years, you start to feel like some sort of accident that the universe happened to have. Maybe the universe's dog didn't get let out and went into the corner to poop you out and then came back with its tail between its legs because the dog knows what it did was wrong but couldn't help it. That is you. Everyone loves the dog anyway, because it is impossible not to. But turds are more difficult to love. If you could, you'd just curl up into a ball so small that you'd blink out of existence entirely. Completely painless. So just remember that when you are picking up your dog's feces next time, and try to be gentle with them. It is not like they feel good about being accidental turds themselves.

No one likes an accidental turd. Not even the turd. 

The main problem here is that it invalidates feelings. If you don't really want to kill yourself, you couldn't possibly that depressed, could you?


If I had one of these I'd frame it in gilded gold and hang it in my pretend business lady office

The belief that maybe you aren't really that depressed builds this fear that nothing is wrong with you besides the fact that you are just lazy and/or selfish. Which sucks because those things would totally be your fault. Depression is so much easier to blame, but without that fancy certificate of accredited depression, you don't have much of an excuse. People just think you aren't showing up to work because you don't have a work ethic.

That may be true, actually. But still.*

There is no "real" solution

It'd help if so much of the playlist wasn't shitty pop rock I listened to in high school

I swear, I've tried everything short of actual medication. Exercise, diet, changing my living situation over and over again. I try to sit myself down and ask what any normal person would ask. "What is wrong?" What is wrong? If only I could figure it out, I could solve the problem forever. Depression isn't that simple, unfortunately.

Take this morning for example. I felt as if someone had turned on every single song on my iTunes at the same time and it was all just blaring in my face and right through my body. You couldn't have asked me to pick out one song and explain it to you. It was just every song, ever, at the same time. Just there, on as loud as it could go. So when people ask "what's wrong?" you can't do more than just shrug like a dumb mute and maybe get out the words "I'll be fine," which are just audible enough over all the music inside you.

Sometimes you catch yourself daydreaming about when you'll "finally be happy." It's a lie we tell ourselves, because life isn't that way. I just wish I knew how to make it feel less shitty in a more permanent way. I'm still searching for the answers. So far my closest leads are pole dancing, green food, hand holding, and writing sarcastic blogs about yourself. Other than that, I'm still pretty stumped.

On to bigger and better things now (netflix). I may regret writing this tomorrow, but the truth is what it is sometimes, and you can't do much about that.

*To be fair, I've also had a weird bout of nausea for the past 24 hours on top of crippling sadness which had made even just the thought of work tough. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Belated Fucking New Years: Anxiety, Biking, Resolutions, and More!


Ok, so I've been pretty off-the-ball on pretty much everything in life lately. Not only have I failed to keep up with my blog, but we're about a week into 2014 and I haven't had a second to sit down and decide what resolutions I'm going to fail at this year.

One of my resolutions is to make "better" drawings. 
If you recall my resolutions last year, I did a pretty good job quitting smoking but more or less failed at the rest of them. Especially the buying socks part. Every day for the past three months I have put on socks with holes. I look at my feet and say, "Man I really need to get new socks." But every time I was in Target and had the opportunity to do so, I just couldn't bring myself to spend then $10 for a decent sized pack of cotton foot clothes. I guess I just prefer to look like a homeless woman.

Actually, these were my real goals and I saw about half of them to enough completion to satisfy myself. I didn't write nearly as much as I wanted, but I did manage to regain a relationship with this blog and pose nude to raise money for pole dancing.

1. Pole goals 2013. This is a list of it's very own and can be found here
2. Find money to fund aerial acrobat dreams. Possibly pose nude...that sounds like a joke but really it's not. 
3. Publish an article with
4. Submit a spec to nickelodeon writers fellowship and then immediately start working on another for next year when I inevitably don't get accepted because I have no idea how to write a spec and don't stand a chance
5. Work with professional artists/writers by the years end (regular school stuff doesn't count)
6. Write a pilot. 
7. Wake up early every morning for specifically blocked out times to do all my writing and flexibility training
8. Stop neglecting blog. 

I decided to skip out on work today even though I'm so super broke and absolutely need the money because I really needed a few hours to sit alone in a room and try to put my brain together. I woke up this morning wanting to cry all over my pillow for no apparent reason, but I managed to resist doing so in front of my pillow mate until I got home. Then I let my anxiety leak all over my face for awhile. It feels more inexplicable than usual these days which only makes me further anxious because I start to wonder how broken am I really and if I need to start taking happy pills just to be able to function. It's not a pleasant string of thoughts.

Anywho, once I got done with that (and sorted out all the terrifying school things I need to think about. Oh god. I'm going back to real school and I have no idea how to deal with it and I'm sure there will be a blog of its very own about that soon) I settled down here to complain on the internet.

Ok. So.

New Years.

2013 was a fucking awful year and I was happy to see it go. I tend to trade off new years celebrations between getting really, really wasted and doing something totally lame and anticlimactic each year. I brought 2013 in by making fun of Full House with my brother at my Aunt's party in the South Carolinian backwoods, so this year I was due to make a fool of myself. And that I did! I was really excited to say goodbye to 2013 in a big way. In fact, I managed to get sick while drunk for the very first time in my life and felt very accomplished about this. I was so proud of myself that I lay in splendor on the bathroom floor, thankful for Big Bookshelf, who held my hair back the entire time, and basked in drunken dramatic relationship conversation that I am pretty sure resulted in me crying.

I know how to keep it classy and mature. For sure. 

I'm so good at relationships.

The next morning was agony. Of course. And Big Bookshelf decided this was the day to introduce me to his love of biking by taking me on a bike ride to the grocery store to make breakfastlunchdinner. (It was 4pm by this point and we still hadn't eaten a thing.) My legs already weren't working because of some reason? I had exercised hard the day before, but it was still bizarrely weird soreness. I mostly just wanted to lay down and not move.

"Don't crash it." He said as he handed over his spare bike.

"I really hope I don't!" I smiled in an attempt to be reassuring in that I knew what I was doing. However, secretly or maybe not so secretly, on the inside I was terrified. The bike seemed so foreign in my hands. I had absolutely no control over it, and both my feet were still on the ground. I was facing a 50/50 chance of killing myself on this thing, surely.

But how hard could it be, really though? I used to ride my bike all the time as a kid. I mean, granted, that bike would brake as soon as you backpedaled and I could reach the ground with my feet from the seat. This bike in my hands was a real bike. A grown up bike. An advanced bike. You had to be coordinated in getting on and off the seat and remember to use your hands to brake. Oh god.

I totally forgot to mention this, but yea, bikes don't agree with my nether regions. 
We didn't even have helmets as we took off, but I figured if I was going to fall I was probably going to die no matter what, surely. So what did it matter? Big Bookshelf took a wide turn from his apartment alley onto the street and I took an even wider turn, cruised across two lanes of traffic, swerved back the other way, and finally came to a steady balance behind him.

We pedaled along. The actual biking wasn't too bad. I can balance fairly well, thanks to pole and acrobatics. But stopping and going were a little more challenging. I didn't feel so much like a person on a bike but instead like a 300 lb sea lion on a bike. Just imagine one of those trying to hop on and off a bike and you'll be envisioning me as well. Every turn caused great anxiety as I was never sure if I would go careening into the curb or possibly an oncoming vehicle. And not to mention that it was fucking. cold. outside. It started to snow by the time we reached the store. My hands were unable to feel anything and I was no longer sure if I was gripping the handlebars or about to die because I somehow forgot to hold on.

A reenactment. 

"Wanna see how fast we can go on the upcoming block?"

"No. No I don't. I don't think that will go well for me at all."

"But it's easier when you go faster!"

He fortunately relented to my denial to increase the risk of me dying.

As soon as I got off the bike at the store, the immensity of my hangover finally hit me. While Big Bookshelf shopped, I mostly sat with my head between my knees on the toilet, trying to win my body in the fight not to vomit just a wee bit more. I was really happy when Big Bookshelf lent me a pair of gloves for the ride back, which made biking a little more bearable, but at this point it was full on snowing and we were biking right into it. I blinked as quickly a hummingbird beats its wings just to be able to see. It was our fortune that it was a holiday, and a cold one at that, so there weren't many cars out to threaten my life. I was already enough of a threat to myself, after all.

We made it back alive, by some miracle. I had not felt so unnatural, bent over in the freezing cold and pedaling a half-broken complicated metal contraption that I felt was completely out of my control, in a very long time. But I did it. I proceeded to collapse on the bed and curl up into a ball, until Big Bookshelf asked if I could could cook the breakfast-lunch-dinner because he could also no longer stand. And I did. Because I was so fucking hungry and also I like Big Bookshelf and appreciate his cooking for me all the time despite his trying to get me killed.

Yet another reenactment.
All those anatomy lessons have gone a long way, don't you think? 

That was my first day of 2014.

I think it was a pretty good story-metaphor for my life. Although specifically what part of my life the metaphor applies to-- the past, the present, or the future-- I'm not sure. I guess it is like this:

I suck at things. I want to get better at things. I feel like I used to not suck at things when I was younger. Like biking. I used to bike, then I stopped, now I suck at biking. But maybe I will get better. It would probably help if my legs didn't feel immobile and I don't want to puke before I even get on the bike. So I will keep trying, maybe be a little more responsible along the way. It would be nice if I could feel the ground with my feet while I'm sitting on the seat, but life isn't like that. Not when you are grown up. You have to ride the grown up bikes, even if it's awkward at first.

I miss my life in California for one reason: there was direction. And structure. I got up, I went to school, I did homework, I did some pole on the side. There were repeating people, friends, a few events. I cooked, I shopped. I had control. I was lonely but there was order and that kept me calm. Now I'm still lonely and have no order to my life and that is the only reason I still hold on to California in my mind. I want to go to real school and have a campus and obvious, direct goals. I could say that is what I want my new years resolution to be, but that is too big and abstract to really accomplish. I could list a million pole tricks and physical feats that I want to achieve, but some are so far away and it doesn't really matter what I am doing, as long as I keep working, I will get better. I could list the competitions I want to own, but I don't feel ready to compete and win, I mostly just want to create new pieces of art and that is why I am entering. I could list so many things as new years resolutions. So many ways I can be better, that my life can be better. There is no where to go but up right now it seems. So instead of listing all the big, grand things I want to be, I am going to start small and simple.

Sexless and Cynical 2014 Resolutions: 

Start flossing a couple times a week. 

Keep a journal full of notes and doodles that no one can decipher. It doesn't have to be anything, just a way to track pole and aerial shit and the occasional thought here and there. 

Write less personal and whiny blogs and write more general and witty blogs. Maybe like... half and half? Compromise, yea?

This is how I normally blog. But no longer. I shall be a dignified lady contributing important cultural material to the world. Maybe. 
Stay in school. 

Maybe send a text to art, ask how it's doing, see what's up, and try to start a friendly but neutral conversation again. 

I'm so cool I have inside jokes with myself. 

Do one full revision of my novel manuscript. Just one. I don't have to finish the book. Just push and pull it around a little bit. All the way through. 

Finally fucking launch The Lives of the Aerialists, that thing I've been scheming about for the past year.  I'm giving myself until June and I signed up for a web authoring class specifically just so I could work on it in a structured environment. 

I don't want to get into details mostly because this is the least likely to happen of all the resolutions. Besides maybe flossing. 

Eat more vegetables. 

Vegetables a happy Meri make. 

That's it. Those are the simplest things I could think of. I wanted to write things like "stop comparing myself to others," and "Train hard, play hard, and always express myself," or "Be the best employee I can be!" but we all know those are nothing but nonsense bullshit that sounds nice but doesn't have a tangible way to be measured, and are therefore almost impossible to accomplish. Some of these are still big, but I can plan for them, and that is the important part.

Happy fucking new year everyone.

Oh and by the way. After writing this I went to pole class and worked hard and got sweaty and felt much better.

It's a step.